Windy Days

We can’t see the wind we can only hear and feel its effects. We can watch trees moving in the wind, litter being blown along a road, washing billowing on a line. On a windy...

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Street Science

Things that we take for granted in the street are often novel and exciting to children. Use the goings on in your local streets to explain what is happening and how things work. For example...

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Nature Scavenger Hunt

Cut out or draw some small pictures of things the child is likely to see on a nature walk. For example, spider, worm, flowers, butterfly, bridge, trees, ants and beetles and stick them in a...

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Story Stick

Prepare to go on a nature walk, either in the garden, the local park or some other outside area. Collect a twig or small tree branch about 30cm long and the thickness of an average...

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Silent Fireworks!

Ingredients: Vegetable oil or olive oil, warm water, food colouring. Fill a glass half to three quarters full with warm water. In a second glass add 2-3 spoons of vegetable or olive oil and add...

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Talk About Me

Talk to your child about all the different parts of their body – head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, chin, arms, legs, hands, feet, tummy, back and chest. Go through each part in turn talking about...

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Boiled Egg

Allow the child to break a cooled, cooked hard-boiled egg. The process of knocking on a hard surface for example a table gives the child the opportunity to learn different forces of knocking and handling...

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Teddy Toss

Collect together some small soft toys and an empty toy box or laundry basket.  Make sure that there is nothing around that can be broken then ask your child to pick a toy and throw...

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Nature Art

Go for a walk to the park, local wood or other outdoor area with your child and collect leaves, stones, moss, twigs, bark, grasses etc. Arrange all of the items collected on the ground and...

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Egg Heads with Cress Hair

Collect together some empty eggshells (with the top cut off), an empty egg box, cotton wool, a packet of cress seeds and coloured pens or paints. Start by encouraging the child to draw or paint...

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Junk Robot

Collect together a variety of cardboard tubes, boxes, tinfoil, yogurt pots, corks, glue, brushes and paint. Talk to your child about machines and electrical equipment within your home including the television, washing machine, fridge, cooker,...

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Windy Weather

Windy weather is a good opportunity for the child to get outdoors to fly kites and flags. You could help the child to put up a wind sock outdoors to determine which direction the wind...

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Pancakes

Make some pancakes with the child. Let the child choose savoury or sweet and serve with lemon and sugar or cheese. There are plenty of fun recipes online or in cookbooks. Talk about the ingredients...

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Outdoor Digging

If you have a garden or outdoor space give the child the chance to dig for worms, slugs, snails, ladybirds and butterflies. Encourage the children to be kind to all of these creatures and help...

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Make a Jelly

Help the child to make a jelly - remembering safety rules when dealing with hot water! Encourage the children to add fruits to the mix, though citrus fruits stop the jelly from setting. Talk about...

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Clocks and Time

Talk to the child about clocks. If possible let them listen to a clock ticking. Look at a digital clock perhaps on your phone or alarm and talk about the differences. Show the child how...

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Grow Tomatoes

Find a sunny corner or windowsill and plant tomato seeds in a pot of compost. Help the child water and feed the plant each day. Before planting the seeds cut open a fresh tomato to...

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Water Play

Use bath time for water play. Make sure the child has a selection of different sized containers, plastic ones are best. Help them to work out why a big jug of water doesn’t fit in...

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Sun and Shadows

On a bright sunny day take the opportunity to point out shadows to the child. Take time to look around at different shadows, lamp posts, cars, buildings and trees. Point out the child’s own shadow....

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Bake a Sponge

Bake a sponge cake from an online recipe or cookbook. Make sure the child takes part in the baking; measuring out the ingredients, mixing and decorating. Talk about what happens to the ingredients as they...

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Painting with Water

On sunny days have fun with big paint brushes (the kind that painters use) and a bucket full of water. Encourage the child to paint the path or wall and watch the water evaporate. Talk...

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Visit a Museum

Visit a local or national museum to see what you can find. Look at animals, birds and fish as well as their now-extinct predecessors. Talk about how they’ve changed and see if you can spot...

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Dark and Light

Talk about night time, daytime, the night sky, shadows and reflections. Help the child share any fears about the dark in a safe way. Talk about nocturnal animals such as foxes, badgers, bats and owls...

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Big and Small

Help the child to measure and mark, on a doorframe or wall, the heights of people connected to them including; the child, parents, carers, siblings, grandparents and friends. When the measurements are completed talk with...

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Number Songs

Number songs are a good way to help with counting. Borrow a nursery rhyme book from a library and sing the rhymes with numbers in. Some examples are: One two three four five, once I...

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Water

Set out a water tray for the child with graded jugs and a few cups and saucers (preferably plastic), a tube, some things that float (a ping pong ball) and some things that sink (like...

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Floating and Sinking

Fill the kitchen sink or the bath with water and let the child play with it. Give them different things to play with. Maybe they can have things which float and things which sink. Try...

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Feed the Birds

Help the child to put some bird food out and watch for birds from the window. Notice which birds appear, are they all the same, are there big birds and little birds, what colours are...

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Butterfly World

Collect together a large tray or plastic container, some grass, leaves, twigs, stones, moss and wild flowers (you could use artificial flowers too). With the child create an butterfly world on the tray or in...

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Numbers

Talk about the number 4. Show the child 4 as it is written and then show them 4 objects that you have that are the same, such as 4 clothes pegs or 4 teddies or...

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Sand Play

Go for an outing to the beach or to a play park with a sandpit.  If that’s not possible fill a baby bath or large container with a bag of play sand (you can find...

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Walkie Talkies

Investigate how sound travels. Materials - 2 x yogurt pots or disposable plastic cups and 5 metres of string. Ask the child to decorate the cups with paint, stickers or coloured markers. Make a small...

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Measuring Distance

Early measuring does not have to be done with tape measures or rulers. Younger children can begin to learn measuring and distance with their feet. From a starting point encourage the child to jump as...

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Jigsaw Puzzles

Stick the front of old greeting cards or other pictures onto a piece of stiff card making sure that you leave an equal and straight border around the edge. Using a sharp pair of scissors...

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Home Made Play Dough

This is a very simple and safe recipe for home made play dough. All you need are 3 cups of bread flour (or plain flour with a teaspoonful of baking powder), one cup of cold...

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